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ALEXANDER  YON  HTJMBOLDT.                 141
from their childhood upwards, and how each affec-
tionately watched the other's course, and how in their
totally different pursuits, those fields of intellectual
enjoyment, 011 which they could both meet, were never
overlooked. When the one brother was deep in the
laws of intellectual and historical life, or among the
remains of extinct nations and languages, and seemed
chained to one spot in his studies; while the other
examined the physical world in its enlarged sphere ;
both could meet again on the subject of the nature of
the human mind, of the races of man, and the di-
versity of languages. But even when their respective
spheres were farthest asunder, their perfectly harmo-
nious education, their disposition and character, and
even the mariner and eloquence of their style, reveal
their common origin, and the intimate connexion of
their whole being. It can therefore not surprise us
that these brothers are honoured by the title of c the
German Dioscuri/ "
Alexander von. Humboldt must also have been in
Weimar in 1831, and have visited Goethe, for we
find in a letter from Goethe to William von Hum-
boldt, dated the 1st December, 1831, the passage :
" I owe some hours of a frank, friendly conversation
to your brother, for whom I can find no expressive
title. For although his views of accepting and ope-
rating oil geological objects is quite impossible for my
cerebral organs, I have seeq. with real interest and
admiration, how that of which I cannot convince my-
self, is with him clearly deduced, and enters into com-
bination, with the stupendous mass of his knowledge,
where it is then digested by his most estimable cha-
racter/'
la 1830, already William von Humboldt regarded
the physical strength of his younger brother as a for-
tunate* circumstance, to which he attached the hope
that he, as the survivor, would arrange and superin-
tend his literary inheritance, as he could,not imagine
a fitter person. This hope was soon to be realized.
Fate granted but a few years of close union to the